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Who Was Who at SWPF 2009?

UME's guide to some of the biggest companies at this year's show

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Samer Mazloum, deputy general manager, WETICO
Samer Mazloum, deputy general manager, WETICO
George Antonopolous, chief executive officer, SETE Energy
George Antonopolous, chief executive officer, SETE Energy

Utilities Middle East provides a guide to some of the biggest companies taking part in this year’s Saudi Water & Power Forum.

WETICO
Samer Mazloum, deputy general manager

What projects are you working on in Saudi Arabia?
As an EPC contractor, we’ve been responsible for executing a majority of the wastewater treatment plants in the Kingdom, and we’ve also recently expanded into the large-scale desal plants.

The latest project that we’ve completed is the 240,000 cubic metre Jeddah 3 desal plant and we’ve also been working on the Najran MBR treatment plan, which treats around 70,000 cubic metres of water per day.

Why are you sponsoring SWPF 200?
WETICO is a Saudi firm and Saudi Arabia is also our strongest market. SWPF is probably the premier water event in the country, so for us it’s definitely a strategic choice for us to be at SWPF 2009, to sponsor it and to make sure that everybody knows that WETICO is one of the major water treatment companies in the Kingdom. We just want to make a mark and say that we are here.

Why is SWPF so important for the local market?
This event draws in companies from outside of the country and the Middle East, as well as the more local firms.

It’s developed well over the last few years and drawn a fair bit of attention, so it gives excellent exposure to local firms, and offers strong references for those looking to expand or build in the utilities market in Saudi Arabia, whether they are private entities that are developing projects, or government agencies that are looking to obtain products or services that may not be available in the Kingdom.

First Solar
Jos van der Hyden, VP for business development

Why are you attending SWPF 2009?
We are here to participate in a forum discussion and to establish and deepen our contacts in the Saudi power sector.

How do you think Saudi Arabia is faring in its efforts to diversify its energy supply?
In my view, Saudi Arabia is still in the early stages of diversifying its energy supply. This means that there are more questions than answers.

These are some of the questions that will be raised at the forum discussion where I am participating: What guidance is available from the government on alternative energies? What is required to make renewable energy a more attractive investment? How can alternative energies be successfully integrated into existing infrastructure?

What trends do you foresee in the Saudi solar sector?
We expect to see large scale grid-connected PV systems in the desert areas of the country where there is a massive solar energy resource available and lying in wait.

SETE Energy
George Antonopolous, chief executive officer

Can you give me an outline of SETE’s operations in Saudi Arabia?
SETE Energy has been operational in the Kingdom for more than 35 years, historically as a general contractor for large-scale oil-refining, industrial, infrastructure and utilities projects.

However, we have now transferred that multi-sector expertise and are now specialised as a BOOT developer, EPC and O&M contractor for water treatment utilities, including desalination (seawater reverse osmosis, multi-effect desalination and multi-stage flash distillation), industrial wastewater treatment, sewage treatment, oily-water separation and steam generation.

Which major projects is SETE currently working on?
Most significantly, SETE Energy has recently signed off the 55,000 cubic metres per day expansion of Marafiq’s Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant (IWTP) No. 8 in Jubail

What trends are you currently seeing in Saudi Arabia’s utilities market?
We foresee a continued increase in industrial wastewater treatment new-build and expansion programmes in parallel with the continued expansion of the Kingdom’s industrial cities, along with associated demand for municipal wastewater treatment. SETE is currently in final negotiations for various water treatment projects with institutional clients, although it is still too early to confirm project details.

Dow Water & Process Solutions
Ahmed Khafagy, Middle East sales manager

Why is Dow Water & Process Solutions exhibiting at SWPF this year?
SWPF is a very important event in this region because it is a forum where industry leaders, developers, end-users, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), operation and maintenance (O&Ms) companies, and technology solutions providers (such as Dow Water & Process Solutions), are gathered under one roof for the sake of furthering the water treatment dialogue.

It is all the more important because it takes place in Saudi Arabia, the largest producer of desalinated water in the world.

What major projects are you working on?
One of the projects we are working on addresses a unique problem in one region of Saudi Arabia, where recent studies of ground water have found traces of radioactive material.

We are working with local authorities to develop a solution that would use our state-of-the-art FILMTEC NanoFiltration Membranes NF90-400.

Dow would be helping to deliver safe and sustainable water resources at a capacity of 150,000 m3/day, and this proposed project would be the biggest NanoFiltration water treatment plant in the world so far.

What trends do you expect to see in the Saudi water sector in the future?
I would like to quote His Highness Prince Khalid Al Faisal, the Governor of the Holy Mecca Governate. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is implementing a large development program that is flying on the two wings of the development: Water and Electricity.”
 

The Saudi water sector is a strategic sector for Saudi Arabia’s development, and it is not only one of the fastest growing sectors in the Kingdom, but also in the GCC region.

Aggreko
Phil Burns, managing director of Aggreko Middle East

Why are you exhibiting at SWPF this year?
I suppose, looking at it logically, there’s a lot of excellent contractors and service providers in this sector who look at Saudi Arabia as their biggest market. Dubai has obviously wound down a little bit and it’ll be good for the Kingdom, through SWPF, to expose the amount of opportunities it has going forward.

We’re interested in meeting companies that have the same mindset as us, and also to listen to the leaders of the country and big businesses there to understand what sort of services they want going forward, and what development plans they have.

On the industrial front, we’re also working on several packages for SATORP in Jubail, which include potable water and sewage. We are also bidding for the process side, which includes AHU units, and we hope to be successful there as well.

Why is Veolia sponsoring SWPF 2009?
SWPF offers an important opportunity to display our new technologies and to meet major actors in the water sector. The networking and possibility of exchanging ideas with key stakeholders of the water sector makes this event unique and important to us.

Can you list the major challenges that the Saudi water market is facing at the moment?
Protecting and preserving the water resources and ecosystem of Saudi Arabia is a major challenge.

Such a challenge spearheads not only the drive for using optimised and innovative technologies, but also the need for water reuse. The Kingdom is the main economy of the region, and it also has a fast-growing population.oupled the demand for first-class service.

Severn Trent Services
Marwan Nesicolaci, vice president of international sales

What projects are you working on at the moment?
On the disinfection side, we are working on various installations that require chlorine gas feed and scrubber products.

In the water and power industry we have recently been awarded the seawater electrochlorination supply for the SWCC Shoaiba project.

We are also bidding for the electrochlorination project for Ibn Sina, for SABIC. Some of the tertiary filtration projects we are working on are South Jeddah Phase I, and Buraidah Phase II. We have also recently prequalified to bid for the management contract for Dammam and Dhahran.

Why is Severn Trent sponsoring SWPF 2009?
The Middle East is one of Severn Trent Services’ fastest growing markets. Sponsoring the SWPF enables us to better service our clients and expand our product and service offerings throughout the region. The SWPF has maintained a reputation of providing a quality conference programme for exhibitors and attendees.

Can you list the major challenges for the Saudi utilities market?
Understanding and improving non-revenue water rates, and boosting the efficiencies of the existing water utilities.

Siemens
Joerg Drescher, KSA corporate communications director

What projects is Siemens working on in Saudi Arabia?
We’re providing steam turbine generator units at SWEC’s turnkey combined steam power plant and desalinisation facility in Riyadh.

Our divisions have also: won a contract for end-customer SWCC to provide the equipment for a long-distance pipeline; launched a new mobile system for reverse-osmosis water treatment, which has been piloted exclusively by Saudi Aramco; and are working on the electrical transmission and distribution works for the first phase of King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).
 
Why is Siemens sponsoring SWPF 2009?
We think that this event is very much related to Siemens’ mission in the Saudi market, and it gives us a great opportunity to maximise Siemens’ business success by creating closer partnerships with our customers.

What are you highlighting at the event in particular?
Siemens offers a broad spectrum of environmental technologies, including solar thermal power plants and photovoltaic plants. Solar thermal power plants have been employed to generate green electricity for years and are now experiencing a boom.

The market for solar thermal power plants will soon grow at a rapid pace and the interest of our traditional customers in the energy sector in this promising future-oriented technology will grow significantly.

Wartsila
Nomi Ahmad, regional director

What projects are you working on at the moment in Saudi Arabia?
Wartsila has been a leading provider of HFO-fired power plants for the industrial sector with an installed base of over 1,200MW. We continue to see activity in various sectors but during the last year, we have seen increased interest in mid-range 150-300MW projects

Why is Wartsila sponsoring SWPF 2009?
We want to create public debate to discuss other options that are being adopted by the world’s leading electric utilities.

By having certain power generation technology earmarked for centralised base load generation, and others earmarked to handle the kingdom’s varying load curves, the overall cost of generation can be reduced, as can be the fuel usage and hence the carbon footprint. Sponsoring SWPF is a good way to start that dialogue in KSA.

Can you list the major challenges for the Saudi utilities market facing at the moment?
What fuels will be available for power generation in the future? What be the effect of the liberalisation that ECRA is planning? How far does the role of the private sector go? Will there be any sort of tariff reforms? How long will the subsidies last?

Koch Membrane Systems
Deepak Raina, regional manager

What projects are you working in the Kingdom?
Koch Membrane Systems (KMS) is an approved vendor and a regular supplier to many of the government agencies, such as SWEC, Ministry of Water and Saudi Aramco, as well as smaller companies.

At the moment, we are working on an MBR wastewater treatment project in Rabigh for Saudi Aramco. We won this contract back in March and it should be completed by end-year or early 2010. In the Eastern Province, we are hopeful of winning a 60,000 cubic metre MBR plus RO contract for the Hassa Irrigation and Development Authority (HIDA).

Why are you exhibiting at SWPF this year?
In my experience, it’s been a popular show, with a good mix of private and public participants. For us, it’s a great opportunity to showcase the new developments we have in our products, and the response we’ve had in the two previous years has been excellent.

What are the challenges?
As the private sector has become more involved in BOOT and PPP contracts, finance has obviously become a bit of an issue in the current environment. It can be a challenge to get the right mix that will satisfy both the client and the bidders.

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